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Honouring Elders Initiative Profiles


Meeting with the Oldest Member of our Parajiya Pattni Soni Community




During my visit to Jamnagar (India), there was a chance discussion with a mutual friend that I came to know of Kasturba age 105. I also came to know that her son, Nirubhai who lives in London was in the town.


I knew Niru’s family well as both our families used to live in Mombasa and our relationship go far back to 1950s. Kasurba’s family, her sons and daughters are now settled in UK and USA and Kenya and Kasturba has gone back to Jamnagar.


Niru was pleased to receive my call and invited me to come over to meet his Ba. It was an opportunity not to be missed and indeed a privilege to meet Kastur Ba as at 105, as far as I know; she is the oldest member of our worldwide Pattni community.

It was lunch time when I along with Kantibhai Ghaghada, President of Jamnagar Samaj and my family visited their house. As we walked in, I saw an amazing scene of Niru hand feeding his mother.  Niru spends lot of time in Jamnagar looking after his mother.


Kasturba became very emotional when I introduced myself as Kantaben’s son who used to live in Mombasa. She is aware that all her relatives and friends of her age and many of her younger generation have passed away and she is now all alone.


Kasturba was born 105 years ago in Viramdal, near Khambhalia in Gujarat, India.


What a different world she must have grown up in compared to the one that we know today. Most of Gujarat at that time was under British control. One hundred years ago the automobile was still in its infancy, and the world had not yet been covered in tarmac or concrete roadways.


She got married at the age of 14 to Damjibhai Jamnadas. After marriage she lived with Damjibhai in Jam Jodhpur. Jam Jodhpur was one of the princely states of India that were administered by Indian princes under the indirect control of the British Government of India.


At Jam Jodhpur, Kasturba and Damjibhai were blessed with six children – Late Maniben, Late Shantaben, Late Mansukhbhai (Mombasa), Mrs Savitaben Natwarlal Kagada ( at present in Dar-es-salaam), Shantilal (London) and Vrajlal (Vaju) in Los Angeles, USA.


The family then came to settle in Mombasa in 1951 where Damjibhai started his own jewellery business.  In Mombasa, they were blessed with three sons Chiman (at present lives in Milton Keynes, UK), Niranjan (Niru) and Suresh (Jitu) both lives in London.


Damjibhai sadly passed away in 1991.


Kasturba then left Mombasa to settle in Jamnagar.


Taste for Fast Food!

It is said that that the only secret of a long and problem free life is healthy diet. Well not in Kasutrba’s case. She loves fast food like pizza, bhajia, mogo, masala dosa, idli dosa, etc.


Guess what? She is growing new sets of teeth too! The general medical opinion is that teeth grows at old age if a person conducts a healthy way of life, never drink, do not smoke, do not eat meat and save nerves.


As we grow older, we all start to notice some changes in our ability to remember things and develop some hearing loss. Well, not in Kasturba’s case. She is still sharp at 105. Her hearing is excellent and still recalls old memories.


After having lunch, it was time for Kastuba’s afternoon nap so was time for us to say goodbye to her.


A chance meeting with her daughter Savitaben

After my visit to Jamnagar Samaj, it was time for me to take a flight to go to Mumbai to meet the leaders of Mumbai Samaj.


After our meeting at Borivali Soni Wadi we decided to go to a restaurant for dinner. What a small world that I had a chance meeting Savitaben, daughter of Kasturba who too had come for dinner at the restaurant. She lives in Dar-es-salaam and was on her way to Jamnagar to visit her mother Kasturba.


Savitaben described her mother as an amazingly awesome person.


Caring for ageing mother can be very challenging at times, but it is also an honour and privilege to do so.


Savitaben spoke very highly about her brother Niru who spends many months in Jamnagar caring for her mother.


Savitaben praising her brother said “Niru is Shravan of our kaliyug age” According to the legend in Ramayana, Shravan was a dutiful son who looked after her parents very lovingly.


Returning back to London, discussing with Chiman, Kasturba’s younger son, who lives in Milton Keynes in UK, praised her mother and added that “we are truly blessed and honoured to have her as mother, grandmother and great grandmother”.


Thank You

I take this opportunity to thank Savitaben, Chimanbhai and Nirubhai for their help in preparing this profile.


- Pranlal Chhaganbhai Arjan (Dhanak)

Editor / Webmaster


I conclude my report by posting a video by Hemant Chauhan – Maa Baap Ne Bhulso Nahi. Enjoy…